Agricultural growth today falls far behind estimated population growth of 1.6% in 2018 and is well below the 7-decade historical average of 3.0% since 1948. The agricultural slowdown is also reflected in massive job losses in the sector.
The Duterte administration only gives lip service to improving agricultural productivity amid this severe crisis of agriculture in the countryside. It also continues long-standing government neglect of the sector. The proposed 3.7% combined agriculture and agrarian reform budget for 2019 is even lower than the historical range of about 4-6% since the mid-1980s.
Proposals to increase food imports may be necessary but should only be a short-term emergency measure used with restraint if it has been established that there is a shortage. It is possible for more food imports to lower prices but only if traders do not exploit tariff cuts just to increase their profits. – From “Crisis of PH agriculture drives high inflation and economic slowdown”